Graffiti removal program

The removal of graffiti as reported to local police will be handled in-house now, thanks to a joint effort by the Department of Public Works, Forest Park Park District and police. Typically, an extension of the county sheriff’s office is responsible for cleaning up graffiti in Cook County, but budget constraints are expected to reduce the availability of that service, according to Commissioner Mark Hosty. To supplement the county program, the park district has agreed to make its power washer available to the public works department on a weekly basis. A master list organizing the removal of such vandalism will be maintained by the village clerk’s office, which can be reached at (708) 366-2323.

Library picks up $10,000

A local grant program targeting non-profits has awarded $10,000 to the Forest Park Public Library and the money will be used to promote literacy rates among young children.

According to a statement released by the Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest, which is responsible for the grant, the award is the fourth of 10 that will be distributed this year to commemorate the bank’s 10-year anniversary. Library Director Rodger Brayden said his office received the check on June 13 after being notified in mid March that their grant application had been approved. The money will help purchase computer equipment and software intended to help toddlers with their reading skills, Brayden said. That equipment has already been ordered, but is yet to arrive and will replace outdated materials.

Other recipients of the bank’s Visionary Grant are the West Cook YMCA, Oak Park Regional Housing Center and the Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society.

Teacher earns energy grant

Through an educational energy program sponsored by petroleum giant BP, a Forest Park Middle School teacher was awarded a $10,000 grant to be used in the classroom.

Grace Finn, a computers teacher at the school, was one of roughly 100 Chicago area educators to receive the award. BP distributed more than $1 million in total awards to help teachers deliver energy education programs in every grade level from pre-kindergarten to grade 12, according to a statement from the company. Finn has been invited to a June 21 award ceremony at the Museum of Science and Industry on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, where each of the recipients will be recognized.